52

How to build a Japanese-style heated floor desk

I'm all about floor-furniture like the kotatsu, a 14th-century invention used in many Japanese homes all winter. It's like the floor-oriented table often associated with Japanese homes, but with the added convenience of a heater and blanket. Sometimes I have daydreams about how awesome it would be to have one of these suckers. SO WARM. So cozy. None of the crampy discomfort of a western-style desk!

I've got a little floor-desk of my own going on, and this IKEA hack came just in time for me to play with.

10

There’s no shame in not doing it all yourself: people exist who can do your projects FOR you!

The DIY movement has been in full force since oh, say, 2008. Its resurgence started before that, but that's when it seems to have tipped over into a popular topic, when indie crafters got cool and became a thing you could be. The internet makes it hard NOT to see clever new things to make or fix or repurpose, and for some people crafting becomes a problem because the information is so available.

Thanks to the Internet's cornucopia of information and ideas, I've very much taken on the attitude that I CAN MAKE ALLLLL THINNNGSSSS, even though truthfully, I'm fair-to-middling at making things. Given a little time and good supplies, we can make a good go at most things — which is a damn slippery path to the mindset DO IT YOURSELF OR IT DOESN'T GET DONE! Which doesn't have to be the case.

9

The big pink chair and the white hot rage

When I was pregnant, I bought this rocking armchair I'd been lusting over for years. It had modern lines and a wide base and a friend had a similar one that I'd loved. It was going to be my special breastfeeding island, the magical place where I rocked the baby to sleep in a happy haze.

Things never quite turned out that way.

38

Un-bedside tables for book storage

Dear Offbeat Home,

My name is Cat. I have a problem.

I cannot stop buying books. I also do not take much time to read books. I have a pile of more than a dozen in-progress books.

I have to believe that if I kept my books in an easy-to-access and organized manner, I'd give them more love. Right now my bedside table is an upended suitcase — a failed attempt to turn it into a cat bed. No storage, and not pretty. To solve my problem, I've been fantasy shopping for an un-bedside table. As I see it, here are my options.

21

So you have $1000 to spend. WHERE DOES IT GO?

This doesn't happen often, but sometimes we have some extra money to spend on the house. A few hundred bucks for new speakers, or a grand for a couch. Each time we have a windfall we can put into our home, we stall with anxiety. Scott and I have been living together a long time, and out of our parents' homes for a decade, and just like most people in their late twenties, money like this needs to be used carefully. We can't just whittle it away on hookers and beer — we'd like a sensible piece of furniture good for a lifetime.

But that anxiety! What if we choose a couch we hate or our car breaks down the week after we paint the living room and then we wish we hadn't dropped $400 on the job?